Discovering new cavities at every dental checkup is no fun. Understanding tooth decay and why you may be especially prone to it can be the key to preventing cavities.
What Causes A Cavity?
The protective enamel on teeth is under constant attack by the foods we eat. Foods contain acid; especially sour fruit juices and anything with sugar. Some carbohydrates break down into sugar. These acids erode and weaken enamel. Cavity-causing bacteria feed on sugar and give off an acidic waste product. As this acid erosion advances, the teeth lose strengthening minerals and are worn away, providing a place for bacteria to continue rotting away the tooth. This process results in a cavity.
Know Your Risk Factors
Saliva helps wash away acid and bacteria, but if you have a very dry mouth, then you lose the benefits of saliva. Crooked teeth are harder to clean and are more likely to develop cavities. Bacteria love to hide around tooth restorations so if you have a lot of fillings, you could be at greater risk for cavities.
Improve Your Hygiene
Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste is essential to controlling the growth of cavity-causing bacteria. A lack of flossing typically leads to more cavities between teeth. When you visit our office, we will work with you on determining the most effective oral hygiene routine.
By having professional in-office fluoride treatments, you can fortify your teeth against the effects of acid erosion and decay. Pursuing recommended treatment for cavities as soon as possible can prevent you from needing major dental work down the road. Stick to a routine of regular dental cleanings and diagnostic x-rays. By being proactive, you can reduce your risk for decay.
We welcome you to visit Hammond Pond Dental Group for a personalized assessment of your tooth decay risk and to design a customized action plan for lowering that risk.